Law and Economics as a Pillar of Legal Education
Viscusi, W. Kip
Hersch, Joni, 1956-
This paper reports the distribution of doctoral degrees in economics and in other fields among faculty at the 26 highest ranked law schools. Almost one-third of professors at the top 13 law schools have a Ph.D. degree, with nine percent having a Ph.D. in economics. Law school rank is highly correlated with the share of faculty holding a Ph.D. in economics and is less correlated with the share of faculty with other doctoral degrees. Law and economics is a major area of legal scholarship based on citations in the law literature and other impact rankings. In recognition of the increased importance of economics in legal education, in 2006 Vanderbilt University established a joint J.D./Ph.D. program in law and economics. The program is housed in the law school and offers 11 new Ph.D. courses designed to fully integrate economics into legal education. We provide information on the genesis and operation of the program.